Obama administration officials tell NBC News that the Justice Department will file a brief in the SCOTUS case opposing Proposition 8:
After first suggesting it would not get involved, the Obama administration will file a friend-of-the-court brief late today in support of the two gay couples who launched the fight over the issue four years ago, the officials said. Today is the last day for filing briefs in support of the couples' position.
The administration last year signaled it might stay on the sidelines. In May, when President Obama first said that "same-sex couples should be able to get married," he added that it was not a matter for the federal government.
Dozens of amicus briefs are piling in urging SCOTUS to strike down Prop 8. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER, representing the plaintiffs, is keeping track of all of them here as they are filed.
UPDATE, via the AP:
While the administration's friend-of-the-court brief in the Proposition 8 case does not call for marriage equality across the United States, it does point the court in that direction.
A Supreme Court ruling in line with the administration's argument could have broad implications and almost certainly expand the rights of same-sex couples to wed.
The administration's nonbinding brief contends that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. The document urges the justices to give extra rigorous review to any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
The person familiar with the brief spoke on anonymity in order to discuss the document before it was filed.
A big book is coming next year on the federal challenge to Proposition 8 now headed to the Supreme Court, the AP reports:
Democrat David Boies and Republican Theodore B. Olson have signed with Viking for "A Just Cause: Law, Love, and the Case for Marriage Equality." Viking told The Associated Press on Wednesday the book is scheduled for mid-2014.
"Our collective journey tells of a crucial and historical civil rights movement that brings us closer to the ideals on which our country was founded," Boies, 71, said in a statement issued by Viking.
Olson, 72, said he and Boies between them have "nearly 100 years in the law."
"We have never handled a more important, dramatic and emotionally compelling challenge," he said in a statement.
Earlier this month I posted a teaser for the new gay web series 'The 3 Bits' and now the first episode is online. The series, written and directed by Max Freeman and Margaret Singer, bills itself as a queer show about sex, love, booze, drugs, friendship, family, and amazing acts of stupidity. But mostly sex.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Marvel's 'Astonishing X-Men' Married Gay Characters Northstar and Kyle Face Deportation Issues Caused by DOMA
We've been covering Marvel's Astonishing X-Men and its examination of the marriage between Canadian Northstar to American Kyle Jinadu since late last year.
In its recent issue number 59, written by Marjorie Liu, and pencilled by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the narrative continues to unfold about the Northstar, a Canadian, trying to stay in his husband's homeland, in a city they both call home.
These are problems imposed on them by the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Earlier this month, the Senate reauthorized an LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)in a 78-22 bipartisan vote. Today, the House did the same.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of the bi-partisan Senate Bill S.47, which re-authorizes a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a vote of 286 to 138. The bi-partisan version of S. 47 includes explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. We thank the all of the bill’s supporters for standing up for all survivors of violence and for putting lives before politics. This historic legislative victory for LGBTQ communities comes as a direct result of tireless efforts on the part of NCAVP members and our national partners, including the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBT Bar Association, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force among others.
“Today’s House vote explicitly includes LGBTQ survivors of violence in VAWA, our nation’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking,” said Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “This legislation ends the silence and isolation that so many LGBTQ survivors have felt, makes LGBT survivors visible and central to our national response to domestic and sexual violence, and says to all survivors of violence: you matter and there is support for you.”
President Obama released a statement on the bill's passage:
I was pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Today’s vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the LGBT community. The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice. I want to thank leaders from both parties – especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy – for everything they’ve done to make this happen. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.